LEWISTON, Me. – The Saint John Sea Dogs have the Lewiston Maineiacs on the brink of elimination following a 5-2 victory last night at Androscoggin Bank Colisee. The Game Three win gave the Sea Dogs a 3-0 series lead.
The Maineiacs had the better of the chances in the opening frame although shots were at 10 apiece. Lewiston had some momentum going into the second period, but unfortunately for them, it wouldn’t last.
Just 1:56 into the second frame, Jonathan Huberdeau scored his 12th of the playoffs on the power play to give Saint John a 1-0 lead. The Dogs kept the pressure on and made it a 2-0 game at 3:14 as Tomas Jurco scored. Ryan Tesink blew it open at 7:01 and made it a 3-0 affair.
Kirill Kabanov scored at 11:23 to put Lewiston back within two. But just over seven minutes later, Mike Thomas added his second of the post-season at 18:26 to give the Dogs a 4-1 advantage entering intermission.
Lewiston replaced goaltender Nicholas Champion with Andrey Makarov to start the third period. Just 23 seconds in, Christophe Lalonde netted his first of the playoffs to put the Maineiacs back within two. But Saint John goaltender Mathieu Corbeil shut the door on the home team for the rest of the night and made sure the Maineiacs didn’t get within a goal.
Stanislav Galiev scored an empty net marker at 18:15 to make it a 5-2 final.
SAINT JOHN SCRATCHES
The Saint John lineup was the same for Game Three as it was for Game Two. Forwards Aidan Kelly and Jason Cameron along with defenseman Jason Seed were all healthy scratches.
There was a big hole in the Maineiacs lineup as their playoff leading scoring was out of with an injury.
Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Michael Chaput missed the match and is “day-to-day” with an injury. Olivier Dame-Malka – the man who hit Jonathan Huberdeau from behind in Game Two – was also injured in the third period following a collision with Danick Gauthier.
From the Lewiston Sun Journal:
"Michael Chaput is day-to-day, we're not sure what's going to happen with him yet," Houle said. "Malka I believe came back from his injury. He's going to get treated and hopefully he'll be able to play tomorrow."Chaput leads his team in scoring this post-season with seven goals and 13 assists in 13 games. He is fourth in league scoring.
There was a unique ceremonial faceoff prior to the match. 100-year old Doris Makas, who is apparently the oldest season ticket holder in the Canadian Hockey League, dropped the puck for captains Mike Thomas and Cameron Critchlow.
CORBEIL DOES IT AGAIN
What else can you say about Mathieu Corbeil? The goaltender was sensational for a second straight game and was one of the major difference makers in this game.
The Blue Jackets prospect made 28 stops in last night’s win and was certainly tested. He made some unreal stops, but he also made key saves at key times to keep Saint John’s momentum moving forward.
“He’s been very good,’’ Sea Dogs head coach Gerard Gallant said of Corbeil to the Telegraph-Journal. “He’s a big guy and he’s getting a chance to play and he’s running with it. He’s playing real well and real solid and he’s making some key saves for us.’’
"I've never been in the playoffs before in junior hockey," Corbeil said to the Lewiston Sun Journal. "It's a whole other feeling. It's very fun and it gives me another level of desire to win. You need to do whatever it takes to win."
It was Corbeil’s second straight start and third of the post-season. The netminder has allowed just three goals in 191 minutes and 49 seconds of action.
KABANOV STRIKES AGAIN
Kirill “The Thrill” Kabanov struck again last night. The Russian’s second period goal gives him a marker in each game of this series. The QMJHL website also credited him with eight shots on goal.
In 14 playoff games he now has eight goals and 11 assists.
THE MORE THINGS STAY THE SAME
You don’t see this everyday:
A small crowd gathered at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee for this contest. Only 1,304 attended the game which is nearly 700 less spectators than the last time the Sea Dogs were in town back in December.
The Maineiacs are averaging 1,680 fans per game in the playoffs.
Obviously, the Boston Bruins – Montreal Canadiens game being on television likely hurt a bit. But, still, this was Game Three of the semifinals.
Stanislav Galiev had a Sea Dogs high four shots on goal… Kirill Kabanov had a Maineiacs high eight shots on net… Eric Gelinas and Nathan Beaulieu had two hits each… Pierre-Olivier Morin had four hits for Lewiston… Zack Phillips had three assists… Samuel Carrier had two assists… Saint John has now won six straight games… the Dogs have not lost on the road so far in this year’s post-season. They have won all six games away from Harbour Station… The Maineiacs went 0-for-7 on the man advantage, meaning the Sea Dogs have still not allowed a power play against on the road in the playoffs… to relive the match, check out the SN Live Blog Replay.
Game Four of this series goes tonight at 8:00 pm at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.
Photo Credit: Marc Henwood/Station Nation, Lewiston MAINEiacs